Since collection of sales tax on on-line purchases to be delivered to many jurisdictions became mandatory I've been paying attention, and I've found several instances of erroneous collections:
- eBay charges NYS residents tax on non-taxable pharmaceutical items.
- Jockey charges NYS residents tax on shipping charges on non-taxable items, i.e. everything they sell.
- Walgreens charges NYS residents tax on shipping charges on non-taxable pharmaceutical items.
And I'm sure that those few companies are nowhere near unique in their misunderstanding of the laws with which they're newly obligated to deal.
I therefore recommend that everybody familiarize themselves with their local sales tax laws, wherever they live, and, even though it may not be for big bucks, be an activist when they'e overcharged.
I think I may have finally gotten through to eBay (after MANY phone calls), but I'm not holding my breath.
It seems to me that the concept of "gigo" has faded away into total obscurity, and computer users now readily accept any and all output as gospel.
My favorite story is about a local shopkeeper's son, about 14-15 years old, who was working the register in his father's store. I bought something for $1.50, and gave him two $1 bills, and he punched $20.00 into the register and gave me $18.50 change. When I questioned him, he replied "The computer said."
More: I don't know if it's still happening, because eBay doesn't send me the pertinent emails any more, but at the outset, the NY sales tax they were incorrectly collecting from me was being remitted to the State of Washington.